Reigate Hill southbound to close for up to 14 weeks from 7 September

David Grantham, 6 August 2020

Map from Surrey CC leaflet, showing road closure in red.

Surrey County Council plans to close a large section of the southbound side of Reigate Hill (A217) for up to 14 weeks from Monday 7 September 2020.

The closure will run from the M25 junction 8 down the hill but will stop to the north of the petrol station and pub.

The southbound side will be fully closed, 24 hours a day, but the northbound side will remain open.

Repairs will be carried out to a 240m retaining wall that runs along the A217, and to the vehicle barrier that sits on it.

The county council has said that it will work with the contractor to try to shorten the work.

A signed diversion route will be in place.

People will be able to access the Reigate Hill café, and car park, using Wray Lane and Gatton Bottom.

What is the reason for the work?
Repairs will be made to a 240m retaining wall and the vehicle barrier that sits on it.

Surrey County Council’s project page says:

“The existing structure has been degraded by a combination of accident damage, erosion caused by water runoff, and the weight of heavy goods vehicles using the road.

“Originally built in 1972, it is no longer fit for purpose, and whilst the temporary concrete barrier that has been placed on the footway provides protection from vehicle impact, it does not address the continued degradation of the structure, so a permanent repair is essential to ensure the A217 remains safe for all road users.”

What about just closing overnight or using temporary traffic lights?
Surrey County Council’s project page says: “Temporary traffic lights, a full closure, narrowing the carriageway to two lanes and night works were all considered, but these would all be either more disruptive, or less safe, than a closure in one direction for the duration of the works.

“This is due to the potential for traffic queues onto the M25 J8 roundabout and Reigate town centre at peak times, a lack of physical space to construct the new wall safely and an unacceptable increase in the amount of time required to construct the scheme, with inevitable disruption to residents and road users.”

What's the diversion route?
A map of the diversion route has been published by the county council.

The diversion route is shown by dots (clicking on the map will open the full PDF)

The council’s project page says: “Gatton Bottom was ruled out as a potential diversion route as it is subject to a 7.5t weight limit, and is wholly inappropriate for the volume and type of traffic that currently uses the A217.

“Consideration was given to allow access to Gatton Bottom for permitted vehicles, but it is almost certain that prohibited vehicles would ignore the restriction and this would create more problems.”

The official diversion route is the most suitable for all vehicles, the webpage says.

What about access to homes and businesses?
An information leaflet says: “The road will remain open northbound, enabling access to the hotel and properties along Reigate Hill to be maintained.

“The Reigate Hill café and car park will remain open and can be accessed via Wray Lane and Gatton Bottom.”

What about the separate project to improve Junction 8?
The Highways England project to improve Junction 8, and to alter the top of Reigate Hill so it has more lanes southbound, is due to start in April 2021.

Reigate.uk’s latest story about that project is here.

Where can more information be found?
Surrey County Council’s project page is here, and a leaflet is here.